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Report: How banks are fuelling climate crisis in Global South

Report: How banks are fuelling climate crisis in Global South
September 05
13:44 2023

Banks are channelling more finance into the major causes of climate change than they are funding climate solutions in the Global South, says a report by ActionAid.

Global South is a term used to describe developing and less developed countries, mainly located in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

According to the report, the financing provided to the fossil fuel industry in the Global South reached an estimated $3.2 trillion in the seven years since the Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted.

Teresa Anderson, global lead on climate justice at ActionAid International and author of the report, said only $370 billion was funnelled to the largest industrial agriculture companies operating in the Global South.


The report listed the banks as — HSBC, BNP Paribas Societe Generale, Barclays, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China CITIC Bank, Bank of China and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial.

“Global banks often make public declarations that they are addressing climate change, but the scale of their continued financing of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture is simply staggering,” Anderson said.

“It is communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are suffering the impacts of decisions made in distant banking boardrooms.


“By financing fossil fuel and industrial agriculture in the Global South, banks are condemning communities to the cruel combination of landlessness, deforestation, water pollution and climate change. With this report, banks can no longer pretend that the issue is out of sight, out of mind.

“Banks need to own up to the harm that they are unleashing on the communities and the planet, and urgently stop financing the destruction wreaked by fossil fuels and industrial agriculture.”

Arthur Larok, secretary-general at ActionAid International, said the report must not be “ignored by the banks funding the climate crisis”.

“The world’s money is flowing in the wrong direction – since the Paris Agreement, banks have provided 20 times more financing to fossil fuels and industrial agriculture activities in the Global South than Global North governments have provided as climate finance to countries on the front lines of the climate crisis,” he said.


“This is absurd and must stop.”

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